The beginning of this book felt almost like the cold open of a tv show. Apropos, considering the heroine is a producer of a popular daytime soap opera.
However, the intriguing promising set up doesn't translate to an electrifying romance.
Sarah Mayberry is a great writer and this book is excellently written.
She also creates wonderfully nuanced characters -- again, very much on display here. The hero Oliver is reeling from the break-up of his marriage and the deep sense of utter betrayal that comes along with it. The beauty of how Oliver is portrayed is that we are 100% shown (not told) about Oliver's state of mind and where he is emotionally. Same with Mackenzie. I actually liked Mackenzie's back story a smidge more than Oliver's and I loved how driven and ambitious she was.
The author is also my favorite in creating natural sounding dialogue as well as allowing her two protagonists to become friends and not wallowing in insta-lust. Again, all of that is right on target in this book. I loved Mackenzie and Oliver's banter and how they went from strangers to really good friends. Even their dogs contributed to how well they seemed to mesh.
What didn't work so well, and what this author is usually a master at, is the friends-to-lovers thing. Honestly, I did not feel the chemistry between Oliver and Mackenzie. They said all the right things and made all the right moves and they were sexxing it up all over the place. And yet I felt oddly unmoved. I couldn't help but compare them to another set of Mayberry characters, Violet and Martin in [b:Her Best Worst Mistake|13633179|Her Best Worst Mistake|Sarah Mayberry|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336096474s/13633179.jpg|19242891],whose chemistry was so combustible they were like FIRE!
Also, while usually I can count on SM to create some wonderful relationship conflict, this also felt missing from Oliver and Mackenzie. I thought Oliver's fears about Mackenzie going back to her ex made a lot of sense, but much of his questioning over their relationship felt very much like 11th hour stuff. It came a bit late in the game for it to feel like something that was believable conflict they needed to work through.
And dare I say it, but I skimmed some middle parts. There was a ploddiness to the middle part of the book that didn't hold my attention.
So while this was a technically well written book with two really engaging characters, neither their story nor their romance really convinced me.